most - definition and synonyms

adverb, determiner, pronoun 

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Most is the superlative form of much and many and can be used in the following ways:
as an adverb (before an adjective or another adverb): a most interesting lecturethe question that is asked most often. (with a verb): Love is what these children need most. (after ‘the’): Angie looks the most like her father.
as a determiner (before a noun): Most shops will be closed over the Christmas holiday. (after ‘the’): Which athlete won the most medals?
as a pronoun: All the victims were male, and most were between the ages of 15 and 25. (after ‘the’): We all ate a lot, but Ashley ate the most. (followed by ‘of’): Most of my friends live in this area.
  1. 1
    used for saying that someone or something has more of a particular quality than any other person or thing

    Zurich is Switzerland’s most important city.

    Even the most carefully prepared plans sometimes go wrong.

    The English Patient was one of the most successful films ever made.

    Who do you think is most likely to win the next presidential election?

    easily/by far the most:

    My time in the navy was by far the most exciting period of my life.

  2. 2
    the largest part of something, or the majority of people or things

    Most business meetings are held at the company’s Bristol office.

    A few of the moths are grey, but most are white.

    most of:

    Most of us enjoy shopping.

    Johnson spent most of his life in London.

    most days/evenings/weekends etc:

    We go sailing most weekends.

    most of the time (=usually):

    Most of the time we sit around playing cards.

  3. 3
    the largest amount
    1. a.
      used for referring to a larger amount or number than any other

      The fairest system is one where those who earn most pay most tax.

      the most:

      It’s a competition to see who could drink the most beer in the shortest time.

    2. b.
      the largest amount or number that is possible
      the most:

      The most that we can do is to prevent the situation from getting any worse.

      To get the most benefit from your training programme, read all the documentation carefully.

      We chose the option that would help the most people.

  4. 4
    happening most
    1. a.
      to a greater degree than anyone or anything else
      the most:

      The university course that has changed the most in the last ten years is teacher education.

      most of all:

      What I want most of all is to spend more time with my little girl.

    2. b.
      more often, or for a longer period of time than anyone or anything else
      the most:

      It was Auntie Margaret who complained the most.

  5. 6
    American informal used before words such as ‘everything’ or ‘everywhere’ for saying that something is true about almost everyone or everything

    The iced tea was very sweet, as it is most everywhere in the South.